Riana Pfefferkorn
Riana Pfefferkorn
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When we’re faced with a video recording of an event—such as an incident of police brutality—we can generally trust that the event happened as shown in the video. But that may soon change, thanks to the advent of so-called “deepfake” videos that use machine learning technology to show a real person saying and doing things they haven’t.

This technology poses a particular threat to marginalized communities. If deepfakes cause society to move away from the current “seeing is believing” paradigm for video footage, that shift may negatively impact individuals whose stories society is already less likely to believe. The proliferation of video recording technology has fueled a reckoning with police violence in the United States, recorded by bystanders and body-cameras. But in a world of pervasive, compelling deepfakes, the burden of proof to verify authenticity of videos may shift onto the videographer, a development that would further undermine attempts to seek justice for police violence. To counter deepfakes, high-tech tools meant to increase trust in videos are in development, but these technologies, though well-intentioned, could end up being used to discredit already marginalized voices. 

(Content Note: Some of the links in this piece lead to graphic videos of incidents of police violence. Those links are denoted in bold.)

Recent police killings of Black Americans caught on camera have inspired massive protests that have filled U.S. streets in the past year. Those protests endured for months in Minneapolis, where former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted this week in the murder of George Floyd, a Black man. During Chauvin’s trial, another police officer killed Daunte Wright just outside Minneapolis, prompting additional protests as well as the officer’s resignation and arrest on second-degree manslaughter charges. She supposedly mistook her gun for her Taser—the same mistake alleged in the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009, by an officer whom a jury later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter (but not guilty of a more serious charge). All three of these tragic deaths—George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Oscar Grant—were documented in videos that were later used (or, in Wright’s case, seem likely to be used) as evidence at the trials of the police officers responsible. Both Floyd’s and Wright’s deaths were captured by the respective officers’ body-worn cameras, and multiple bystanders with cell phones recorded the Floyd and Grant incidents. Some commentators credit a 17-year-old Black girl’s video recording of Floyd’s death for making Chauvin’s trial happen at all.

The growth of the movement for Black lives in the years since Grant’s death in 2009 owes much to the rise in the availability, quality, and virality of bystander videos documenting police violence, but this video evidence hasn’t always been enough to secure convictions. From Rodney King’s assailants in 1992 to Philando Castile’s shooter 25 years later, juries have often declined to convict police officers even in cases where wanton police violence or killings are documented on video. Despite their growing prevalence, police bodycams have had mixed results in deterring excessive force or impelling accountability. That said, bodycam videos do sometimes make a difference, helping to convict officers in the killings of Jordan Edwards in Texas and Laquan McDonald in Chicago. Chauvin’s defense team pitted bodycam footage against the bystander videos employed by the prosecution, and lost.

What makes video so powerful? Why does it spur crowds to take to the streets and lawyers to showcase it in trials? It’s because seeing is believing. Shot at differing angles from officers’ point of view, bystander footage paints a fuller picture of what happened. Two people (on a jury, say, or watching a viral video online) might interpret a video two different ways. But they’ve generally been able to take for granted that the footage is a true, accurate record of something that really happened. 

That might not be the case for much longer. It’s now possible to use artificial intelligence to generate highly realistic “deepfake” videos showing real people saying and doing things they never said or did, such as the recent viral TikTok videos depicting an ersatz Tom Cruise. You can also find realistic headshots of people who don’t exist at all on the creatively-named website (There’s even a cat version.) 

While using deepfake technology to invent cats or impersonate movie stars might be cute, the technology has more sinister uses as well. In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning that malicious actors are “almost certain” to use “synthetic content” in disinformation campaigns against the American public and in criminal schemes to defraud U.S. businesses. The breakneck pace of deepfake technology’s development has prompted concerns that techniques for detecting such imagery will be unable to keep up. If so, the high-tech cat-and-mouse game between creators and debunkers might end in a stalemate at best. 

If it becomes impossible to reliably prove that a fake video isn’t real, a more feasible alternative might be to focus instead on proving that a real video isn’t fake. So-called “verified at capture” or “controlled-capture” technologies attach additional metadata to imagery at the moment it’s taken, to verify when and where the footage was recorded and reveal any attempt to tamper with the data. The goal of these technologies, which are still in their infancy, is to ensure that an image’s integrity will stand up to scrutiny. 

Photo and video verification technology holds promise for confirming what’s real in the age of “fake news.” But it’s also cause for concern. In a society where guilty verdicts for police officers remain elusive despite ample video evidence, is even more technology the answer? Or will it simply reinforce existing inequities? 

The “ambitious goal” of adding verification technology to smartphone chipsets necessarily entails increasing the cost of production. Once such phones start to come onto the market, they will be more expensive than lower-end devices that lack this functionality. And not everyone will be able to afford them. Black Americans and poor Americans have lower rates of smartphone ownership than whites and high earners, and are more likely to own a “dumb” cell phone. (The same pattern holds true with regard to educational attainment and urban versus rural residence.) Unless and until verification technology is baked into even the most affordable phones, it risks replicating existing disparities in digital access. 

That has implications for police accountability, and, by extension, for Black lives. Primed by societal concerns about deepfakes and “fake news,” juries may start expecting high-tech proof that a video is real. That might lead them to doubt the veracity of bystander videos of police brutality if they were captured on lower-end phones that lack verification technology. Extrapolating from current trends in phone ownership, such bystanders are more likely to be members of marginalized racial and socioeconomic groups. Those are the very people who, as witnesses in court, face an uphill battle in being afforded credibility by juries. That bias, which reared its ugly head again in the Chauvin trial, has long outlived the 19th-century rules that explicitly barred Black (and other non-white) people from testifying for or against white people on the grounds that their race rendered them inherently unreliable witnesses. 

In short, skepticism of “unverified” phone videos may compound existing prejudices against the owners of those phones. That may matter less in situations where a diverse group of numerous eyewitnesses record a police brutality incident on a range of devices. But if there is only a single bystander witness to the scene, the kind of phone they own could prove significant.

The advent of mobile devices empowered Black Americans to force a national reckoning with police brutality. Ubiquitous, pocket-sized video recorders allow average bystanders to document the pandemic of police violence. And because seeing is believing, those videos make it harder for others to continue denying the problem exists. Even with the evidence thrust under their noses, juries keep acquitting police officers who kill Black people. Chauvin’s conviction this week represents an exception to recent history: Between 2005 and 2019, of the 104 law enforcement officers charged with murder or manslaughter in connection with a shooting while on duty, 35 were convicted

The fight against fake videos will complicate the fight for Black lives. Unless it is equally available to everyone, video verification technology may not help the movement for police accountability, and could even set it back. Technological guarantees of videos’ trustworthiness will make little difference if they are accessible only to the privileged, whose stories society already tends to believe. We might be able to tech our way out of the deepfakes threat, but we can’t tech our way out of America’s systemic racism. 

Riana Pfefferkorn is a research scholar at the Stanford Internet Observatory

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Riana Pfefferkorn

Q&A with Riana Pfefferkorn, Stanford Internet Observatory Research Scholar

Riana Pfefferkorn joined the Stanford Internet Observatory as a research scholar in December. She comes from Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, where she was the Associate Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity.
Q&A with Riana Pfefferkorn, Stanford Internet Observatory Research Scholar
A member of the All India Student Federation teaches farmers about social media and how to use such tools as part of ongoing protests against the government. (Pradeep Gaur / SOPA Images / Sipa via Reuters Connect)

New Intermediary Rules Jeopardize the Security of Indian Internet Users

New Intermediary Rules Jeopardize the Security of Indian Internet Users
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Daphne Keller
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I am a huge fan of transparency about platform content moderation. I’ve considered it a top policy priority for years, and written about it in detail (with Paddy Leerssen, who also wrote this great piece about recommendation algorithms and transparency). I sincerely believe that without it, we are unlikely to correctly diagnose current problems or arrive at wise legal solutions.

So it pains me to admit that I don’t really know what “transparency” I’m asking for. I don’t think many other people do, either. Researchers and public interest advocates around the world can agree that more transparency is better. But, aside from people with very particular areas of interest (like political advertising), almost no one has a clear wish list. What information is really important? What information is merely nice to have? What are the trade-offs involved?

That imprecision is about to become a problem, though it’s a good kind of problem to have. A moment of real political opportunity is at hand. Lawmakers in the USEurope, and elsewhere are ready to make some form of transparency mandatory. Whatever specific legal requirements they create will have huge consequences. The data, content, or explanations they require platforms to produce will shape our future understanding of platform operations, and our ability to respond — as consumers, as advocates, or as democracies. Whatever disclosures the laws don’t require, may never happen.

It’s easy to respond to this by saying “platforms should track all the possible data, we’ll see what’s useful later!” Some version of this approach might be justified for the very biggest “gatekeeper” or “systemically important” platforms. Of course, making Facebook or Google save all that data would be somewhat ironic, given the trouble they’ve landed in by storing similar not-clearly-needed data about their users in the past. (And the more detailed data we store about particular takedowns, the likelier it is to be personally identifiable.)

For any platform, though, we should recognize that the new practices required for transparency reporting comes at a cost. That cost might include driving platforms to adopt simpler, blunter content rules in their Terms of Service. That would reduce their expenses in classifying or explaining decisions, but presumably lead to overly broad or narrow content prohibitions. It might raise the cost of adding “social features” like user comments enough that some online businesses, like retailers or news sites, just give up on them. That would reduce some forms of innovation, and eliminate useful information for Internet users. For small and midsized platforms, transparency obligations (like other expenses related to content moderation) might add yet another reason to give up on competing with today’s giants, and accept an acquisition offer from an incumbent that already has moderation and transparency tools. Highly prescriptive transparency obligations might also drive de facto standardization and homogeneity in platform rules, moderation practices, and features.

None of these costs provides a reason to give up on transparency — or even to greatly reduce our expectations. But all of them are reasons to be thoughtful about what we ask for. It would be helpful if we could better quantify these costs, or get a handle on what transparency reporting is easier and harder to do in practice.

I’ve made a (very in the weeds) list of operational questions about transparency reporting, to illustrate some issues that are likely to arise in practice. I think detailed examples like these are helpful in thinking through both which kinds of data matter most, and how much precision we need within particular categories. For example, I personally want to know with great precision how many government orders a platform received, how it responded, and whether any orders led to later judicial review. But to me it seems OK to allow some margin of error for platforms that don’t have standardized tracking and queuing tools, and that as a result might modestly mis-count TOS takedowns (either by absolute numbers or percent).

I’ll list that and some other recommendations below. But these “recommendations” are very tentative. I don’t know enough to have a really clear set of preferences yet. There are things I wish I could learn from technologists, activists, and researchers first. The venues where those conversations would ordinarily happen — and, importantly, where observers from very different backgrounds and perspectives could have compared the issues they see, and the data they most want — have been sadly reduced for the past year.

So here is my very preliminary list:

  • Transparency mandates should be flexible enough to accommodate widely varying platform practices and policies. Any de facto push toward standardization should be limited to the very most essential data.
  • The most important categories of data are probably the main ones listed in the DSA: number of takedowns, number of appeals, number of successful appeals. But as my list demonstrates, those all can become complicated in practice.
  • It’s worth taking the time to get legal transparency mandates right. That may mean delegating exact transparency rules to regulatory agencies in some countries, or conducting studies prior to lawmaking in others.
  • Once rules are set, lawmakers should be very reluctant to move the goalposts. If a platform (especially a smaller one) invests in rebuilding its content moderation tools to track certain categories of data, it should not have to overhaul those tools soon because of changed legal requirements.
  • We should insist on precise data in some cases, and tolerate more imprecision in others (based on the importance of the issue, platform capacity, etc.). And we should take the time to figure out which is which.
  • Numbers aren’t everything. Aggregate data in transparency reports ultimately just tell us what platforms themselves think is going on. To understand what mistakes they make, or what biases they may exhibit, independent researchers need to see the actual content involved in takedown decisions. (This in turn raises a slough of issues about storing potentially unlawful content, user privacy and data protection, and more.)

It’s time to prioritize. Researchers and civil society should assume we are operating with a limited transparency “budget,” which we must spend wisely — asking for the information we can best put to use, and factoring in the cost. We need better understanding of both research needs and platform capabilities to do this cost-benefit analysis well. I hope that the window of political opportunity does not close before we manage to do that.

Daphne Keller

Daphne Keller

Director of the Program on Platform Regulation

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Cover of the EIP report "The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election"

Election Integrity Partnership Releases Final Report on Mis- and Disinformation in 2020 U.S. Election

Researchers from Stanford University, the University of Washington, Graphika and Atlantic Council’s DFRLab released their findings in ‘The Long Fuse: Misinformation and the 2020 Election.’
Election Integrity Partnership Releases Final Report on Mis- and Disinformation in 2020 U.S. Election
Daphne Keller QA

Q&A with Daphne Keller of the Program on Platform Regulation

Keller explains some of the issues currently surrounding platform regulation
Q&A with Daphne Keller of the Program on Platform Regulation
twitter takedown headliner

Analysis of February 2021 Twitter Takedowns

In this post and in the attached reports we investigate a Twitter network attributed to actors in Armenia, Iran, and Russia.
Analysis of February 2021 Twitter Takedowns
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In a new blog post, Daphne Keller, Director of the Program on Platform Regulation at the Cyber Policy Center, looks at the need for transparency when it comes to content moderation and asks, what kind of transparency do we really want?


End-to-end encrypted (E2EE) communications have been around for decades, but the deployment of default E2EE on billion-user platforms has new impacts for user privacy and safety. The deployment comes with benefits to both individuals and society but it also creates new risks, as long-existing models of messenger abuse can now flourish in an environment where automated or human review cannot reach. New E2EE products raise the prospect of less understood risks by adding discoverability to encrypted platforms, allowing contact from strangers and increasing the risk of certain types of abuse. This workshop will place a particular focus on platform benefits and risks that impact civil society organizations, with a specific focus on the global south. Through a series of workshops and policy papers, the Stanford Internet Observatory is facilitating open and productive dialogue on this contentious topic to find common ground. 

An important defining principle behind this workshop series is the explicit assumption that E2EE is here to stay. To that end, our workshops have set aside any discussion of exceptional access (aka backdoor) designs. This debate has raged between industry, academic cryptographers and law enforcement for decades and little progress has been made. We focus instead on interventions that can be used to reduce the harm of E2E encrypted communication products that have been less widely explored or implemented. 

Submissions for working papers and requests to attend will be accepted up to 10 days before the event. Accepted submitters will be invited to present or attend our upcoming workshops. 




The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) provides a civil cause of action for computer hacking victims that have suffered certain types of harm. Of these harms, the one most commonly invoked by plaintiffs is having suffered $5,000 or more of cognizable “loss” as defined by the statute. In its first-ever CFAA case, 2021’s Van Buren v. United States, the Supreme Court included intriguing language that “loss” in civil cases should be limited to “technological harms” constituting “the typical consequences of hacking.” To date, lower courts have only followed the Court’s interpretation if their circuit already interpreted “loss” narrowly pre-Van Buren and have continued to approach “loss” broadly otherwise.

Van Buren did not fully dissipate the legal risks the CFAA has long posed to a particular community: people who engage in good-faith cybersecurity research. Discovering and reporting security vulnerabilities in software and hardware risks legal action from vendors displeased with unflattering revelations about their products’ flaws. Research activities have even led to criminal investigations at times. Although Van Buren narrowed the CFAA’s scope and prompted reforms in federal criminal charging policy, researchers continue to face some legal exposure. The CFAA still lets litigious vendors “shoot the messenger” by suing over security research that did them no harm. Spending just $5,000 addressing a vulnerability is sufficient to allow the vendor to sue the researcher who reported it, because such remediation costs qualify as “loss” even in courts that read that term narrowly.

To mitigate the CFAA’s legal risk to researchers, a common proposal is a statutory safe harbor for security research. Such proposals walk a fine line between being unduly byzantine for good-faith actors to follow and lax enough to invite abuse by malicious actors. Instead of the safe harbor approach, this article recommends a simpler way to reduce litigation over harmless research: follow the money.

The Article proposes (1) amending the CFAA’s “loss” definition to prevent vulnerability remediation costs alone from satisfying the $5,000 standing threshold absent any other alleged loss, and (2) adding a fee-shifting provision that can be invoked where plaintiffs’ losses do not meet that threshold. Tightening up the “loss” calculus would disqualify retaliatory litigation against beneficial (or at least benign) security research while preserving victims’ ability to seek redress where well-intended research activities do cause harm. Fee-shifting would deter weak CFAA claims and give the recipients of legal threats some leverage to fight back. Coupled with the Van Buren decision, these changes would reach beyond the context of vendor versus researcher: they would help rein in the CFAA’s rampant misuse over behavior far afield from the law’s core anti-hacking purpose.

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Richmond Journal of Law & Technology
Riana Pfefferkorn
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Join the Cyber Policy Center and moderator Daniel Bateyko in conversation with Karen Nershi for How Strong Are International Standards in Practice?:  Evidence from Cryptocurrency Transactions.

The rise of cryptocurrency (decentralized digital currency) presents challenges for state regulators given its connection to illegal activity and pseudonymous nature, which has allowed both individuals and businesses to circumvent national laws through regulatory arbitrage. Karen Nershi assess the degree to which states have managed to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, providing a detailed study of international efforts to impose common regulatory standards for a new technology. To do so, she introduces a dataset of cryptocurrency transactions collected during a two-month period in 2020 from exchanges in countries around the world and employ bunching estimation to compare levels of unusual activity below a threshold at which exchanges must screen customers for money laundering risk. She finds that exchanges in some, but not all, countries show substantial unusual activity below the threshold; these findings suggest that while countries have made progress toward regulating cryptocurrency exchanges, gaps in enforcement across countries allow for regulatory arbitrage.

This session is part of the Fall Seminar Series, a months-long series designed to bring researchers, policy makers, scholars and industry professionals together to share research, findings and trends in the cyber policy space. Both in-person (Stanford-affiliation required) and virtual attendance (open to the public) is available; registration is required.

Karen Nershi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University's Stanford Internet Observatory and the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). In the summer of 2021, she completed her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania specializing in the fields of international relations and comparative politics. Through an empirical lens, her research examines questions of international cooperation and regulation within international political economy, including challenges emerging from the adoption of decentralized digital currency and other new technologies.

Specific topics Dr. Nershi explores in her research include ransomware, cross-national regulation of the cryptocurrency sector, and international cooperation around anti-money laundering enforcement. Her research has been supported by the University of Pennsylvania GAPSA Provost Fellowship for Innovation and the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics.

Before beginning her doctorate, Karen Nershi earned a B.A. in International Studies with honors at the University of Alabama. She lived and studied Arabic in Amman, Jordan and Meknes, Morocco as a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow and a Critical Language Scholarship recipient. She also lived and studied in Mannheim, Germany, in addition to interning at the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany).

Dan Bateyko is the Special Projects Manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory.

Dan worked previously as a Research Coordinator for The Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law, where he investigated Immigration and Customs Enforcement surveillance practices, co-authoring American Dragnet: Data-Drive Deportation in the 21st Century. He has worked at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, the Dangerous Speech Project, and as a research assistant for Amanda Levendowski, whom he assisted with legal scholarship on facial surveillance.

In 2016, he received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. He spent his fellowship year talking with people about digital surveillance and Internet infrastructure in South Korea, China, Malaysia, Germany, Ghana, Russia, and Iceland. His writing has appeared in Georgetown Tech Law Review, Columbia Journalism Review, Dazed Magazine, The Internet Health Report, Council on Foreign Relations' Net Politics, and Global Voices. He is a 2022 Internet Law & Policy Foundry Fellow.

Dan received his Masters of Law & Technology from Georgetown University Law Center (where he received the IAPP Westin Scholar Book Award for excellence in Privacy Law), and his B.A. from Middlebury College.

Dan Bateyko
Karen Nershi
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Join the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) and moderator Alex Stamos in conversation with Ronald E. Robertson for Engagement Outweighs Exposure to Partisan and Unreliable News within Google Search

This session is part of the Fall Seminar Series, a months-long series designed to bring researchers, policy makers, scholars and industry professionals together to share research, findings and trends in the cyber policy space. Both in-person (Stanford-affiliation required) and virtual attendance (open to the public) is available; registration is required.

If popular online platforms systematically expose their users to partisan and unreliable news, they could potentially contribute to societal issues like rising political polarization. This concern is central to the echo chamber and filter bubble debates, which critique the roles that user choice and algorithmic curation play in guiding users to different online information sources. These roles can be measured in terms of exposure, the URLs seen while using an online platform, and engagement, the URLs selected while on that platform or browsing the web more generally. However, due to the challenges of obtaining ecologically valid exposure data--what real users saw during their regular platform use--studies in this vein often only examine engagement data, or estimate exposure via simulated behavior or inference. Despite their centrality to the contemporary information ecosystem, few such studies have focused on web search, and even fewer have examined both exposure and engagement on any platform. To address these gaps, we conducted a two-wave study pairing surveys with ecologically valid measures of exposure and engagement on Google Search during the 2018 and 2020 US elections. We found that participants' partisan identification had a small and inconsistent relationship with the amount of partisan and unreliable news they were exposed to on Google Search, a more consistent relationship with the search results they chose to follow, and the most consistent relationship with their overall engagement. That is, compared to the news sources our participants were exposed to on Google Search, we found more identity-congruent and unreliable news sources in their engagement choices, both within Google Search and overall. These results suggest that exposure and engagement with partisan or unreliable news on Google Search are not primarily driven by algorithmic curation, but by users' own choices.

Dr. Ronald E Robertson received his Ph.D. in Network Science from Northeastern University in 2021. He was advised by Christo Wilson, a computer scientist, and David Lazer, a political scientist. For his research, Dr. Robertson uses computational tools, behavioral experiments, and qualitative user studies to measure user activity, algorithmic personalization, and choice architecture in online platforms. By rooting his questions in findings and frameworks from the social, behavioral, and network sciences, his goal is to foster a deeper and more widespread understanding of how humans and algorithms interact in digital spaces. Prior to Northeastern, Dr. Robertson obtained a BA in Psychology from the University of California San Diego and worked with research psychologist Robert Epstein at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

Alex Stamos

Dr. Ronald E Robertson received his Ph.D. in Network Science from Northeastern University in 2021. He was advised by Christo Wilson, a computer scientist, and David Lazer, a political scientist. For his research, Dr. Robertson uses computational tools, behavioral experiments, and qualitative user studies to measure user activity, algorithmic personalization, and choice architecture in online platforms. By rooting his questions in findings and frameworks from the social, behavioral, and network sciences, his goal is to foster a deeper and more widespread understanding of how humans and algorithms interact in digital spaces.

Prior to Northeastern, Dr. Robertson obtained a BA in Psychology from the University of California San Diego and worked with research psychologist Robert Epstein at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford Internet Observatory
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Join the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) and moderator Andrew Grotto, in conversation with L. Jean Camp for Create a Market for Safe, Secure Software.

This session is part of the Fall Seminar Series, a months-long series designed to bring researchers, policy makers, scholars and industry professionals together to share research, findings and trends in the cyber policy space. Both in-person (Stanford-affiliation required) and virtual attendance (open to the public) is available; registration is required.

Today the security market, particularly in embedded software and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, is a lemons market.  Buyers simply cannot distinguish between secure and insecure products. To enable the market for secure high quality products to thrive,  buyers need to have some knowledge of the contents of these digital products. Once purchased, ensuring a product or software package remains safe requires knowing if these include publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. Again this requires knowledge of the contents.  When consumers do not know the contents of their digital products, they can not know if they are at risk and need to take action.

The Software Bill of Materials  is a proposal that was identified as a critical instrument for meeting these challenges and securing software supply chains in the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity} by the Biden Administration (EO 14028. In this presentation Camp will introduce SBOMs, provide examples, and explain the components that are needed in the marketplace for this initiative to meet its potential.

Jean Camp is a Professor at Indiana University with appointments in Informatics and Computer Science.  She is a Fellow of the AAAS (2017), the IEEE (2018), and the ACM (2021).  She joined Indiana after eight years at Harvard’s Kennedy School. A year after earning her doctorate from Carnegie Mellon she served as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. She began her career as an engineer at Catawba Nuclear Station after a double major in electrical engineering and mathematics, followed by a MSEE in optoelectronics at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Andrew Grotto
L. Jean Camp Professor at Indiana University
Aleksandra Kuczerawy headshot on a blue background with text European Developments in Internet Regulation

Join the Program on Democracy and the Internet (PDI) and moderator Daphne Keller, in conversation with Aleksandra Kuczerawy for European Developments in Internet Regulation.

This session is part of the Fall Seminar Series, a months-long series designed to bring researchers, policy makers, scholars and industry professionals together to share research, findings and trends in the cyber policy space. Both in-person (Stanford-affiliation required) and virtual attendance (open to the public) is available; registration is required.

The Digital Services Act is a new landmark European Union legislation addressing illegal and harmful content online. Its main goals are to create a safer digital space but also to enhance protection of fundamental rights online. In this talk, Aleksandra Kuczerawy will discuss the core elements of the DSA, such as the layered system of due diligence obligations, content moderation rules and the enforcement framework, while providing underlying policy context for the US audience.

Aleksandra Kuczerawy is a postdoctoral scholar at the Program on Platform Regulation and has been a postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven’s Centre for IT & IP Law and is assistant editor of the International Encyclopedia of Law (IEL) – Cyber Law. She has worked on the topics of privacy and data protection, media law, and the liability of Internet intermediaries since 2010 (projects PrimeLife, Experimedia, REVEAL). In 2017 she participated in the works of the Committee of experts on Internet Intermediaries (MSI-NET) at the Council of Europe, responsible for drafting a recommendation by the Committee of Ministers on the roles and responsibilties of internet intermediaries and a study on Algorithms and Human Rights.

Daphne Keller
Aleksandra Kuczerawy Postdoctoral Scholar at the Program on Platform Regulation (PPR)
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Please note, event is now sold out, though waitlist is available through the registration link above.

The Transatlantic Summit is where the worlds of cutting-edge research, industry, and policy come together to find answers on geopolitics, digital platforms and emerging tech as well as digital sovereignty. Whether you're an industry leader, policy maker, or student - join the start of a new Transatlantic movement seeking synergies between technology and society and become part of the international conversation going forward.


  • Creates a vibrant forum for a dialogue between the US and Europe in Silicon Valley about the impact of digital technologies on business and society
  • Builds a strong network for German American collaboration in digital innovation, business, and geopolitics
  • Excite, connect and inspire: Participants meet the movers and shakers of the digital future from business, academia, and politics



  1. Digital Sovereignty
  2. Geopolitics of Emerging Technologies
  3. Digital Platforms and Misinformation


The conference, which is jointly organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, The Representatives of German Business (GAAC West), German Consulate General of San Francisco, Stanford German Student Association and Program on Geopolitics, Technology, and Governance at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center addresses current discussions about digital technologies, business and society. Join us and get inspired by our series of speakers and networking sessions to bring together leaders, politicians, students, and changemakers.

    Digital Sovereignty and Multilateral Collaboration

    Digital sovereignty vs. cooperation: What should the future of the transatlantic partnership on digital policies look like, and how do we reach it?

    Technology increasingly sits at the epicenter of geopolitics. In recent years, the notion of technological or digital sovereignty has emerged in Europe as a means of promoting the notion of European leadership and strategic autonomy in the digital field. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States find themselves in an increasingly fierce race with China for global technology dominance. Against this backdrop, cooperation between the European Union and the United States may be more critical than ever. This raises important questions: What does Europe's move toward digital sovereignty and self- determination mean for the transatlantic partnership? And how should the US and EU balance sovereignty and cooperation in digital and technology policy? Our panel will explore tensions between sovereignty and cooperation and what the future of transatlantic policy may look like on issues from data protection to semiconductors, in light of the rising technological influence and ambitions of China.

    John Zysman, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley
    Maryam Cope, Head of Government Affairs, ASML U. S.
    Hannah Bracken, Policy Advisor -Privacy Shield, U.S. Department of Commerce
    Adriana Groh, Co-Founder, Sovereign Tech Fund

    Agenda & Speakers

    Transatlantic Summit: Sovereignty vs. Cooperation in the Digital Era
    Thursday, Nov. 17th, 2022, 9:00am – 6:00pm PT
    Vidalakis Dining Hall, Schwab Residential Center Stanford, CA 94305

    Download pdf
    Download pdf
    image reading tech for democracy silicon valley venture day on black background

    Please join us on November 29 at Stanford University for the Silicon Valley Venture Day, a competition for North American innovators working on democracy-affirming technologies, jointly hosted by Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, IE University, the U.S. State Department, and Microsoft. The competition is part of the Global Entrepreneurship Challenge, a major initiative stemming from the U.S. Summit for Democracy at which President Biden convened world leaders in December 2021 to renew democracy globally.  


    The Global Entrepreneurship Challenge is an IE University-led initiative comprised of five Venture Day competitions across five continents: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and South America. The Venture Day competitions will bring together researchers, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs to identify and highlight key innovations as well as to give shape to the global effort to develop technology for democracy. The winner of the North American Silicon Valley Day competition will receive a $1,000 prize. Regional winners will then compete for a monetary prize.    



    • 12:30 pm – Registration and Lunch
    • 1:00 – 1:10 pm – Welcome Remarks by the following:
      • Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director, Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator
      • Irene Blázquez, Director, Center for the Governance of Change at IE University
      • Lila Tretikov, Deputy CTO of Microsoft (formerly, head of Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation)
    • 1:10 – 1:30 pm – Opening Comments by Judges moderated by Eileen Donahoe
    • 1:30 – 2:30 pm – Competition – Innovator Presentations
    • 2:30 -2:45 pm – Keynote Remarks (v) and Live Q&A with audience by Administrator Samantha Power, U.S. Agency for International Development
    • 2:45 – 3:00 pm –  Closing Remarks by Scott Busby, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, US Department of State and Announcement of Winner



    Samantha Power Official Portrait

    Samantha Power

    Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development


    Aimee Sentmat Headshot

    Aimee Sentmat

    President & General Manager, Banistmo, S.A.
    headshot of allison b

    Allison Bhusri

    Founder of Lemonade Capital
    headshot geoff ralston

    Geoff Ralston

    President, Y Combinator
    headshot juan jose

    Juan Jose Gomez Camacho

    Former Mexican Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in NY and Geneva
    headshot lourdes turrecha

    Lourdes M. Turrecha

    Founder & CEO of PIX LLC & Privacy Tech & Law Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Privacy Law at Santa Clara University School of Law
    Peter Loewen

    Peter Loewen

    Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto
    headshot rana sankar

    Rana Sarkar

    Consul General of Canada in San Francisco | Silicon Valley
    Steve Blank

    Steve Blank

    Serial Entrepreneur & Creator of the Lean Startup


    Eileen Donahoe

    Eileen Donahoe

    Executive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator
    Oberndorf Event Center, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 655 Knight Way
    Administrator Samantha Power, US Agency for International Development
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